Even pet waste can be recycled with Bokashi

I’ve had a few questions lately about cat litter and how to use it in conjunction with Bokashi. There’s a lot of good information here on Bokashicycle, a great US-based company working with Bokashi in many applications.

But the basic principle is sprinkle some Bokashi bran in your cat tray now and then, it will help absorb odour and speed up the subsequent breakdown process. You can also do a special Bokashi bucket for dog and cat poo, just use a standard airtight bucket and use newspaper or the litter itself to absorb any liquid. The key thing here is to bury it in a flower bed — not your veggie patch. Just to be on the safe side.

Personally cat litter isn’t something I know a lot about. Our cat Dipsen, proudly presented above, is well and truly an outdoor cat. The kind of guy you like to have taking care of the place, that is at least when he’s not sleeping or keeping himself warm on my computer. But we live in the country, with a wheat field 5m from the kitchen window. Yep, you got it — wheat field = mice and that means a busy hunting cat doesn’t have far to go to have fun. But he keeps the house and sheds nice and rat free for us.

On the plus side, this means we’ve had plenty of scope for doing rat-and-mice bokashi tests. I know it’s hard to believe but mice/rats just aren’t keen on Bokashi. The pH is too low, it’s too acidic in other words. Given that we have a good setup for testing I regularly put bags of Bokashi out in strategic spots to see if they’ll get any small furry customers. And so far not a nibble. So I would say the theory holds. But if you’re worried you could always do a small scale test, a bit of Bokashi in a plastic bag (sealed of course) and put it out in a likely spot. Let us know how it goes!

And good luck with those cat trays!

8 thoughts on “Even pet waste can be recycled with Bokashi

  1. Hi,
    We have found that both dogs and rats love bokashi, we have to store in vermen proof rooms.
    We make bokashi from wheat bran, but it has added ingredients such as chicken manure pellets, worm juice , fish oil.
    A friend I supply bokashi to, had the finished fermented contents of her bokashi bucket, regularly dug up from her garden by both the house hold dog and possumns

    1. Interesting! Thanks for chipping in here. Would be good to hear from other users so we can get a clear picture of this.
      No possums in sight here in Sweden but some people have badgers and they can be a problem. And the family dog just loves to have a good dig in freshly dug down bokashi! I normally toss a metal grid over the spot for a couple of weeks till things settle down. He just stands there and looks disappointed… (But he leaves the plastic sacks alone)
      We have a lot of deer strolling round in the garden and they are not the least interested. Not the moose either. But the rats/mice just don’t get into it (even though they stripped our farm bike bare of rubber during the winter the bastards…)

  2. My question concerns using wood chip pellets
    (such as the pee-wee-system pellets or the cheaper wood chip pellets used for heating) för cat litter.

    My cats drink lots of water, encouraged to do so by having access to fountains and “cat soup”, and hence pee A LOT.

    We go through pine tree woodchips at a horribly fast rate!

    The point of using the pellets, is that they soak up urine, which makes them fall apart into wet sawdust that can be removed from the tray leaving the clean pellets in place, thus saving resources.

    Ok, that was the background!!
    Every day I get about a litre of non smelling but urinesoaked wonderful pine tree sawdust. Sawdust is often used to add cellulose to normal composts, also reducing the moisture levels. But will the EM’s enjoy it?

    They create an acidic environment, and urine is highly alkaline. Will that hurt them? Or will it actually result in an even better bokashi that is less acidic and hence gentler to the plants?

    (To complicate it further, pine needles are acidic, so perhaps the sawdust is already acidic, maybe that is what keeps it from smelling – ammonia being neutralized almost immediately?)

    Anyway: My questions are:
    Do I ferment my litter with household waste?
    Is the “pet” bokashi ok for vegetables if poo is removed and only urinesoaked sawdust is used?
    Is it better to add the sawdust unbokashied to the household waste bokashi after it’s done, when mixed with soil?


    1. Hi Anna! Good questions!
      To be honest I’m not a real expert on this subject but I’ll add my two-cents worth. (Our cat is the outdoor variety so we have a lot of delivered rats to deal with but no litter trays :-))
      You can try most things with Bokashi but the one thing I wouldn’t do is put any form of pet waste in the veggie patch. Keep it for the flower beds!
      For the same hygiene reasons I’d keep pet waste out of the Bokashi bin too.
      But otherwise the sawdust/pellets from your cat litter is a fantastic resource. It would be brilliant in combination with a bucket of Bokashi if you combine it directly in the garden or in another container for making soil. The EM microbes will spread into the cat litter and help it break down, and should theoretically also help it become more “hygienic”, i.e. the good bacteria will overwhelm any bad bacteria that might have come along in the cat mix.
      By the way, we’re testing “dry buckets” here with wood pellets like those you’re talking about. These are airtight buckets without taps, in which you normally use newspaper, serviettes, egg cartons to take up the Bokashi liquid instead of draining it off. But basically anything absorbent will work, and hay pellets (used with horses here) or wood pellets in the bucket give a nice result when you dig it down into the garden. Worth trying if you’re looking for a cheap bucket alternative. You could even do a special cat-Bokashi bucket in this way, that way you get all the Bokashi benefits but can handle it separately in the garden.
      You mentioned you get no smell in your cat tray thanks to the pellets, that must be a great bonus. Otherwise for anyone that has a problem with ammonia smells (urine, basically) Bokashi and/or EM can be a good way to deal with it. They use this a lot in pig pens, horse stalls etc. Just spray or sprinkle the EM or Bokashi on the bedding now and then to reduce the smell.
      Hope this helps a bit! If there’s anyone else there with some first-hand experience it would be great to hear it!
      ps is your name Swedish? (Just curious…!)

  3. Hi Jenny, you’ve a great site. Thanks for all the informative articles! Just wondering if you have an opinion on whether or not pet waste (poop/litter) should be composted in a separate Bokashi system or whether it’s alright to just have it together with the system I have for my food waste. Thanks in advance! 🙂

    1. Thanks for the encouragement Joanna! Cat/dog poop is actually a good resource if you can cope with the idea. But it’s best to do it in a separate bucket as there are parasite issues especially with cat litter. Cat litter is really dry usually so you can use a plain airtight bucket, but I would add in something ”juicy” like weeds to increase the moisture level. Dog poop you could add shredded newspaper or whatever to make it drier. ALWAYS use this pet bokashi in a flower bed or whatever where no food will be grown, this is important. But otherwise – yes! – great idea!

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